Grandfather is Felicity Merriman's grandfather.
Personality and Facts
Grandfather (his real name is unknown) is a tall, spare (lean) man with white hair he wears back in a queue and grey eyes that are soft and usually full of gentle good humor. He owns a large plantation, King's Creek with several enslaved people. He immigrated from England, along with his late wife.
Grandfather is a generous man and kind to his family. He is a strict Loyalist and finds the Patriot cause to be foolish, the ranting of irresponsible scoundrels, and disloyal to the King; he is sure the colonies will be part of England forevermore. He finds it wrong that Edward is no longer selling tea at the store, but is polite enough not to discuss it in front of other guests so as not to embarrass his daughter and her family. Felicity worries about having his good favor and doesn't wish to upset him; she feels that he understands her, in a way the rest of her family doesn't always do, and he says she has a good eye for horses. He also taught her to ride horses (though she often does not ride properly sidesaddle as is expected of her).
Grandfather catches an illness he does not recover from and dies during the events of Changes for Felicity in Willamsburg at the Merriman home.
In the Books
Happy Birthday, Felicity!: A Springtime Story
Grandfather is due to arrive for Felicity's birthday in a few days; Martha says he will be amazed to see how Felicity and the children have grown. Felicity is initially worried that Ben might speak out in front of him as a Patriot and might be upset they don't drink tea.
Felicity Saves The Day: A Summer Story
Changes for Felicity: A Winter Story
Grandfather has been in Williamsburg for three weeks and had a cold since arriving. He greets Elizabeth and Felicity playing in the garden and asks to have their dolls introduced, remarking after Elizabeth says hers is named after Queen Charlotte and that he and the Coles are among the last of the Loyalists. He then changes the subject and invites the girls to come with him to inspect his horse, Penny. Upon inspection he lets Felicity know that she is going to have a foal by spring. He's not certain he'll be there when she foals in about two to three months, but she is young and strong and should come through the birthing well--then lets Felicity know that her father and Marcus have known about the coming foal for some time and wanted him to have the pleasure of telling Felicity.
After his errand to get Mr. Cole freed from jail, his illness gets worse. One evening, he asks for Felicity, and Felicity comes to sit by his bedside. He is in the bed still, with slow breathing and ashen skin. She takes his hand and he opens his eyes, and she tells him not to try to speak and to lie there, and she'll read to him. She reads Psalm 23 to him and says that part of it reminds him of his plantation and that he'll be back there soon and feel better once he's there. He strokes her cheek and calls her dear, then goes to sleep; she kisses his forehead and leaves the room.
He gets weaker and weaker over the passing days with one night her and Nan up listening and watching light moving outside the chamber they are sharing and voices outside. He dies that night, and Martha comes to tell the two of them together.
His body is carried back to King's Creek to be buried, with the coffin on a cart being driven by Marcus, and buried on a windy bluff above the York River. Martha, after supper, goes to Felicity with a trunk that was in his chamber that he intended to give to Felicity on her birthday; it contains a green riding habit.
Grandfather is much more conservative in the film than the books with no understanding whatsoever of the Patriot cause. He yells at Edward for refusing to sell tea and calls him and Ben's talk against the King treasonous.
Hearing about Ben's later escape and the bounty reward makes him remark that the reward will bounty hunters will come biting (rather than having any concern for him) and allows the bounty hunters to search the plantation to find him with little concern about his condition when found. Hearing about Ben's passion for the Patriot cause (and it being the motive for his running away) angers him greatly to the point of him outbursting that he should be imprisoned for his actions.
Grandfather dies shortly after Ben's return while the family is visiting the plantation rather than months later in Williamsburg; the death is more sudden and less telegraphed by a preceeding illness.
Grandfather is played by David Gardner.